Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Although the program is pretty new, there have been many "success stories". Chantele reflects on one in particular: " One of our “original” girls was 13 years old when the program first started. She was shy, quiet, very few friends, and had very low self esteem. She was hesitant to engage with her peers. She expressed being very unhappy with her appearance, and often expressed suicidal thoughts. Today, that same young lady is very involved in her church, community, and school. She has taken a leadership role in all of her extra curricular activities and has reported having several close friendships. She has attributed her growth to her involvement in Eniola Sisters and working with her mentor."
Thursday, November 24, 2011
1. The people. I seriously mean this too. No matter where I go, people are just friendly in Buffalo. Okay, okay, so I occasionally run into someone having a bad day or someone who is just rude, but whether I'm in the line at the grocery store, paying my toll at the toll booth or walking around the park on a summer day people say hello, smile, strike up a conversation and Buffalo truly does live up to its nickname "The City of Good Neighbors."
2. I get to experience all four seasons every year. While people joke there's really only two seasons in Buffalo; winter and construction, I absolutely appreciate the weather Mother Nature gives us. People around the rest of the country don't know how good it is to see the leaves change, experience that first snowfall, see the daisies and tulips bloom in spring and bask in a gorgeous summer day. Take a look at this year alone...we have been spoiled. Even now in November, we have had so many nice fall days (and there's more on the way this weekend!)
3. The food. I've traveled a decent amount in my 28 years, and without a doubt, when I am on vacation, I miss the food. That's not to say I haven't had some good meals on the road, but when it comes down to it, the selection in Buffalo is the best.
4. My summer calendar fills up fast. Once the Allentown Art Festival hits in mid June, there's something going on in Buffalo every single weekend, and many week nights. From Taste of Buffalo, to Thursday in the Square, to free concerts half the other nights, to Bisons games, you have a chance to do something fun with family and friends every week. What's even better is that the majority of them cost nothing to get in!
I can think of a bunch more reasons why I'm thankful for Buffalo, but it's time to go eat lots of Mom's homemade stuffing, my homemade muffins and some cranberry sauce. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and happy official kickoff to the holiday season!!! If you are going shopping this weekend SHOP LOCAL! (I'll admit, I have Kohls on my list too, but Elmwood, Hertel, and all the local shops are the place to be)
I'll be back on Monday!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Indulge: Home Spa Parties is a new business that offers spa parties with massage, pedicure, manicure and waxing services.
The company is owned by WNY natives Nicole McKeone and Stacy Phillips.
Stacy became a licensed hair stylist in 2003 and received her nail technician license in 2006. In addition to being the co-owner of Indulge: Home Spa Parties, Stacy currently works at a salon in East Amherst.
Nicole and Stacy had the idea for the business a couple years ago while they were working at a salon together in Amherst. They started off small doing parties for family and friends and the feedback was great! After generating a "buzz" locally, they decided to take it a step further and became a legal business in May 2011.
If you put the words, "spa", "massage", or "pedicure" in any sentence, my eyes automatically light up, but I absolutely LOVE the concept of Indulge: Home Spa Parties. An awesome feature to this business is that they come into YOUR home and set everything up. All you need to do is provide a private space for the massages and the guests. It is perfect for girls night with some wine and appetizers, a great gift for your bridal party before your wedding, a fun bonding activity with family, or just an excuse to get pampered with your girls.
Not only are Nicole and Stacy friendly and outgoing but their prices are extremely competitive with local spas and salons (check out the website below for the costs). It is so convenient to have them come to you, and gives your party a much more intimate feel then you would get at a spa/salon.
For parents with little girls out there, they offer kids parties as well. What a fun way to "pamper" the little divas in your life.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Favorite "family" activity - I did a lot of fun family stuff this but I think my favorite thing was boarding the Miss Buffalo II with my brothers, their significant others, cousin and boyfriend on July 3rd for a 2 hour sight seeing cruise. It was a warm Buffalo day and we all had a blast. We grabbed Wegmans subs before the tour, had a picnic down by the Harbor then cruised around enjoying all the sights Buffalo has to offer. I'm lucky that the majority of my family still calls Buffalo home and those who don't get home often enough for me to not miss them too much.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Sunday, November 13, 2011
The Elam Jewett Café is a not-for-profit organization involving the Episcopal Church of The Good Shepherd and St. Mary’s School for the Deaf. The purpose of the café is to provide valuable work experience to the deaf and disabled individuals in our community. In addition to this vocational opportunity, the Café will serve the Parkside Community and the surrounding areas.
The Cafe is located inside the Church Of The Good Shepherd on the corner of Jewett and Summitt. It is across the street from The Darwin Martin House.
Currently the Cafe is open Mon - Fri from 9:30am - 11:30am (when the school is in session). They are starting small, giving the kids opportunities to learn all about the "cafe" business.
They serve pastries, cakes, cookies and then hot and cold beverages (depending on the season). The pastries are $2.00 and the drinks range from $1.00 - $2.00 as well. They offer comfortable chairs to sit in and a wireless network if you need to get out of the house for a few hours to get some work done.
I realize that most people might not be able to get there right now because they work during those hours but they do have plans of expanding and serving lunch. Ultimately, their goal is to be there to serve the patrons of The Darwin Martin House, since annually they get thousands of visitors and are looking for a spot to grab food before/after their tour. Currently there are really no CLOSE locations to grab food, and The Cafe is situated in the prime location.
The next step for the Cafe is to hire a full time manager. This will allow them to expand their hours and have great insight into taking the next steps with the Cafe.
Check them out on the web: www.elamjewettcafe.org.
(I have posted a lot of pictures of the renovations on the site, so please take a look)
Monday, November 7, 2011
Gabriel's Gate is a mostly bar/tavern fare serving burgers, sandwiches, wings, fingers, etc...and they are the perfect spot to go out to dinner before a Sabres/Bandits game, concert downtown, or a fun spot to hit up after work or late at night! The restaurant itself is a pretty decent size with numerous tables both in the front and back of the restaurant. They have a few big screen TVs which make it a fun place to grab some drinks and watch the game.
Gabriel's Gate is located on Allen Street in downtown Buffalo so parking can be tricky, but you can usually find something on one of the side streets. If you are going before a Sabres game, I'd suggest calling the day before and getting a reservation so you aren't waiting.
I've honestly only had a few menu items besides the chicken wings (I've tried the chicken sandwiches, fish fry and steak sandwich), but anyone I've ever gone with has enjoyed their meals as well. The meals are reasonably priced ranging from meals of $8 (burgers, sandwiches) - $16 (entrees). They have happy hour specials week nights and their alcoholic beverages are moderately priced as well.
A single order of BBQ chicken wings are my usual meal of choice (with a side of fries; super healthy too, ha!)
The only downfall is the service; although more recently when I've been there, the service has been much better. They are typically slow and don't check up on you much, but as I said, lately things have seemed to get better there.
They are open at 11:30am everyday of the week and are open late, midnight Sunday - Thursday and 2am on Friday and Saturday. The address is 145 Allen Street and if you are calling up for a reservation the number is (716) 886-0602.
If you are looking for somewhere to take an out of towner for dinner, Gabriel's Gate should be the #1 choice to go, especially if they mention chicken wings! And if you have been living in Buffalo your whole life and haven't tried it out, what are you waiting for? Step outside your normal "night out" places and check out Gabriel's Gate soon!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
jojoBistro is located on Sheridan right past the Wegmans. They are right next door to their partner restaurant Black & Blue (I plan on trying that place out soon, so keep an eye out for that blog!)
The decor/design of the restaurant I'd call an upscale modern look (I loved walking in to wine bottles as the door handles - call me a "wine-o" much?) There is a huge wine "cellar" that goes from floor to ceiling with a ladder. The whole theme of the restaurant is based around wine with wine labels, bottles, corks, etc...all over. It is really cozy and comfortable and the wait staff were great. It looks small from the outside, but there are a decent number of tables inside. It still does have an intimiate feel making it a perfect place for date night.
The menu has pizzas, (which are delicious and HUGE - we tried a spicy chicken one, and honestly it wasn't that spicy at all for spicy food lovers!) salads, fancier dishes like duck, red fish and short ribs, and classic chicken and burger dishes. While the menu item I had that evening (a butternut squash ravioli) is not part of the regular menu, it was delicious and very filling. The desserts didn't disappoint either. Overall, the meal was fun, the presentation was modern and clean and I will be making another stop back with the boyfriend or friends.
As for price, the pizzas are $12 (but they are a very good size), and the other entree dishes range from $12 (burger) to $23 (salmon). In my opinion it is worth it.
They have an extensive wine list and the bar area is stocked with various liquors. It is a perfect spot to stop after work for happy hour. Their appetizer list is great and would be a fun way to enjoy a few drinks with friends.
Next time you are looking for a fun night out, or if you love wine, check out jojo Bistro & Wine Bar!
(Jenny and me in the restaurant and outside)